Our Favorite Race-Day Shoes


Prepping for a race is no run in the park. After you throw down some major cash to register, that’s when the fun really begins. But before you get all wrapped up in the nuances of daily training, tapering, carb-loading and hydration, be sure you’re feet are properly equipped.

Some runners wear specific shoes to train and break out lower, lighter shoes for the big day. Others simply run races in their daily trainer and find just as much success. The most important thing is to pinpoint the exact shoe you’ll wear on race day, and give yourself enough time to break it in. Keep in mind that breaking in a shoe doesn’t mean you simply wear it around the house the day before the race. You should run in it several times prior to be sure it fits comfortably without blisters or other foot pains. Because nobody wants an unexpected surprise on race day. Well, unless that surprise is first place.

For short distances such as a 5K, wear a lighter shoe that’s maybe even a little lower to the ground. This will assist in picking up the speed. If you are running a half or full marathon, look to shoes with more cushioning. Your feet need the extra support with every extra mile. The most important part is that your feet feel comfortable and remain injury-free up through the race.

Here are a few of our favorite styles to break out on race day.

5K Shoes


The Mizuno Wave Musha is a lightweight racer designed to correct overpronation.

  • Type: Racing
  • Pronation Control: Mild
  • Weights: 7.4/6.3 oz (Men’s/Women’s)
  • Heights: 22 / 13 mm (Heel/Toe)
  • Drop: 9 mm
  • Features: Mizuno Airmesh / AP+ / Mizuno Wave Technology / SmoothRide / X10


For neutral runners looking to move fast, Saucony Type A provides a sliver of cushion and a smooth ride.

  • Type: Racing
  • Pronation Control: Neutral
  • Weights: 5.6/5.2 oz (Men’s/Women’s)
  • Heights: 16/12 mm (Heel/Toe)
  • Drop: 4 mm
  • Features: Air Mesh Upper / Gusseted Tongue / SSL EVA / XT-900™


Built off of a spike last, the New Balance 1400 is a fierce racing flat that’s not messing around.

  • Type: Racing
  • Pronation Control: Neutral
  • Weights: 7.1/5.7 oz (Men’s/Women’s)
  • Heights: 19/11 mm (Heel/Toe – Midsole)
  • Drop: 8 mm
  • Features: REVlite


10K – Half Marathon Shoes


From Asics speed collection, the GEL-DS Trainer has just a touch of stability.

  • Type: Racing / Minimalist
  • Pronation Control: Neutral / Mild
  • Weights: 9.1/7.6 oz (Men’s/Women’s)
  • Heights: 19.5/9.5 mm (Heel/Toe)
  • Drop: 10 mm
  • Features: I.G.S.® / Heel Clutching System™ / Guidance Line® / Propulsion Trusstic® / Dynamic DuoMax® Support System / WET GRIP® Outsole / No Sew Upper


Become a midfoot striker with the Brooks PureConnect, built for those with a neutral stride.

  • Type: Minimalist
  • Pronation Control: Neutral
  • Weights: 7.2/5.9 oz (Men’s/Women’s)
  • Heights: 14/10 mm (Heel/Toe)
  • Drop: 4 mm
  • Features: BioMoGo DNA Midsole / IDEAL Heel / Toe Flex / Nav Band / Anatomical Last


With a grippy outsole and light stability, the Saucony Fastwitch turns you into a speed racer.

  • Type: Racing
  • Pronation Control: Mild
  • Weights: 6.9/6.2 oz (Men’s/Women’s)
  • Heights: 15.5/11.5 mm (Heel/Toe)
  • Drop: 4 mm
  • Features: Air-Mesh Upper / Dual Density SSL EVA / XT-900™ / FlexFilm Overlays / Premium Sockliner


Full Marathon Shoes


Selected as a Runner’s World Editor’s Choice, Brooks Ghost nicely balances cushion and responsiveness.

  • Type: Structured
  • Pronation Control: Neutral
  • Weights: 10.7/8.8 oz (Men’s/Women’s)
  • Heights: 24/12 mm (Heel/Toe)
  • Drop: 12 mm
  • Features: Anatomical Brooks® DNA / BioMoGo /  DRB® Accel / Heel Caterpillar Tech /  HPR Plus


Asics created the GEL-Nimbus to preserve your stride mile after magnificent mile. This shoe was also selected by Runner’s World as an Editor’s Choice.

  • Type: Structured
  • Pronation Control: Neutral / Mild
  • Weights: 11.1/9.1 oz (Men’s/Women’s)
  • Heights: 32/21 mm (Heel/Toe)
  • Drop: 11 mm
  • Features: I.G.S.® / Guidance Line® / Solyte® Midsole / ComforDry™ Sockliner / Biomorphic Fit® Upper / Heel Clutching System™ / Discrete Eyelets


The Pearl Izumi Streak is lightweight enough to take on a 5K, yet it has enough cushioning for a marathon.

  • Type: Racing
  • Pronation Control: Neutral
  • Weights:  7.6/6.8 oz (Men’s/Women’s)
  • Heights: 18/9 mm (Heel/Toe)
  • Drop: 9 mm
  • Features: 1:1 Seamless Upper / 1:1 360° Lacing / 1:1 Energy Foam / 360° Reflectivity

What race-day shoes do you recommend?

One Comment on “Our Favorite Race-Day Shoes

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